Last October, Walmart cut health insurance for about 30,000 part time workers. Starting January 1, 2015, only part-time associates who work 30 to 34 a week qualify for coverage.
This recent move from the country’s largest private employer is the latest in a series of steps to pare down health care costs, often at the expense of local taxpayers. It wasn’t long ago that Walmart offered health coverage for all part-time workers. But in 2011, Walmart cut coverage for new employees who worked fewer than 24 hours. In 2012, they went even further, dropping insurance for those who worked fewer than 30 hours a week. Now, those workers who were grandfathered into the health plan have been dropped.
Keep in mind: despite recent improvements, individual Walmart associates have very little control over their schedules, and managers are able to cut costs by keeping workers’ hours under the 30-hour threshold. And for those associates who actually qualify, the company’s health care plan is fraught with problems.
Luckily, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, it’s now easier for individuals to purchase health coverage on the Health Insurance Marketplace. To help everyday workers, OUR Walmart and Working America Health Care have teamed up to offer Walmart associates an even better deal.
OUR Walmart members who enroll in a qualified health plan through Working America Health Care will have access to special member benefits: dental and vision discounts, as well as a personal Health Advocate to answer questions and help workers deal with insurance companies.
This past November, many of us stood up for Walmart associates on Black Friday. More than 11,000 Working America members signed petitions calling for $15 an hour and access to full-time hours for all Walmart workers. We made calls, shared information with friends, and joined in solidarity with Walmart associates at stores across the country.
But making change at Walmart and in the lives of its workers is about more than just one day: and that’s why we’re incredibly proud of this collaboration to help provide answers, stability, and a measure of security for Walmart workers and their families.
Are you a Walmart worker? Do you know someone who is? Click here to learn more about the available health care benefits or call 888-693-0159 for more information.
Whether or not you work at Walmart, you can have access to special benefits by enrolling in health coverage through Working America Health Care by February 15. Click here to learn more or call 855-698-2479.
Working America Health Care is a joint partnership between Working America and Union Plus with the mission of informing folks about the Affordable Care Act and connecting them with quality health insurance coverage.